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SnapHawk Blog

SnapHawk believes that an informed client makes better decisions. In the ever evolving world of digital marketing, it takes serious effort to stay on top. Here at the SnapHawk blog, you'll find updates on the latest developments in digital marketing and tech trends so you that you can stay connected and informed about important issues that impact your business.

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Acronyms are a favorite tool of those fluent in technobabble. Search Engine Marketing sounds better and more digestible as the three letter term, SEM. Likewise for Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. In reality, these shortened terms do little more than confuse industry outsiders, leaving them drowning in what we call Acronym Soup. Here at SnapHawk, we have sworn off the Soup.

Sure, it’s cool and trendy to toss around these pithy nuggets of tech knowledge, unless of course you don’t know what they mean. Then what’s the point? Thankfully, we’re here to help. The SnapHawk Internet Marketing Glossary offers definitions of the industry’s most commonly used lingo to help users swim, not sink in the Soup.

1. Know What You Don't Know

Let’s face it, when you’re running a business, you don’t always have time to read up on current industry news. With purchase orders, payroll, and clients to deal with on a daily basis, only the biggest innovations and findings make their way onto your radar, but the Web is riddled with blogs that make your industry news its top priority. They are in the business of knowing what you don’t even know you don’t know. No one will ever know everything about their particular industry, but taking the time to figure out what you don’t know will ensure that your blogs are not misleading or out of date. Take an hour and become familiar with resources that will help you sort through the vast amounts of information out there. A quick search will reveal helpful “top 50” lists for the best blogs pertaining to your specific interests. Make sure to include a few small business blogs in this mix.

Being “successful” online is subject to many definitions, but here at SnapHawk we know that most business owners want to see a monetary payoff. This payoff can come through a variety of channels depending on the goal you’ve set. Perhaps the aim is to get a customer to make a purchase through your e-commerce site or maybe you want visitors to sign up for an e-mail newsletter. Whatever the goal, one thing is clear: potential customers need to not only land on your web page, but they need to stay on your web page.

Google has rolled out a new preview function for organic search results which allows users to view a portion of the landing page without actually visiting the website; they simply need to click the magnifying glass icon next to the search link.  The preview tool highlights text related to the user’s search input, making it easier for a user to quickly compare search results and decide which page looks most useful. The new feature will undoubtedly affect website traffic, but whether for better or worse is a matter of debate.


AdKeeper.com


Internet users in pursuit of the latest breaking news or their favorite TV shows are rarely distracted by small advertisements on the side of the screen.  They are focused on their final web destination, and it is difficult to tempt them to stray from that path for more than a few moments.

That is why start-up Adkeeper has created software that allows users to store ads they find interesting and view them at a more convenient time.


Internet experts have long tailored search results to individuals based on previous user data.  Google’s newest search feature one-ups that technology by attempting to predict what a user wants before he even finishes his query; in essence, Google Instant attempts to read his mind.

Google Instant constantly searches as the user types his query, providing results even before he finishes a word.  Clicking “search” and pressing enter are no longer necessary with this time-saving tech tool.

Foursquare.com

For businesses struggling to generate a buzz without much money in the marketing budget, Foursquare might be the answer.  It’s low-cost and low-effort, but it gets the name out there through a very credible source – best friends.

Foursquare is a mobile phone application which allows consumers to tell their friends where they most like to eat, shop, hang out, and just generally live their lives.  They “check in” to their favorite spots, and the application notifies their friends via social media including Facebook and Twitter.

Courtesy PC World and Brian Christie DesignAmericans have long feared excessive government interference in personal matters, as is evidenced by the cultural phenomenon created by the Big Brother character portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984.  Paranoia has died down since the book’s World War II era publication, despite the fact that technology makes it easier than ever for anyone – not just the government – to keep a watchful eye on personal activities.

For years, tracing cookies have tracked the way users browse websites and have used that data to tailor content and advertisements to individual interests.  And now the mobile marketplace is opening new doors for companies looking to appeal directly to an individual customer.

Location-based advertising, LBA, traces a consumer’s location through his cell phone.  The company may then send an advertisement, via text message or mobile web, to the consumer based on his proximity to the business location.

Late last month, Mozilla revealed a new interface feature for Firefox called “Tab Sets” (formerly called “Tab Candy”)  that is poised to revolutionize and organize the way you browse the Web.  Tab Sets allow users to organize their tabs into separate spaces, or sets, and gives a full window view of their layout.  This new feature will be available within Firefox 4 Beta 4, to be released on August 23.  With Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome 6 set to be released soon, this feature could set Firefox apart from the competition.

Mozilla FirefoxOver the past few days, I have had the chance to play around and experiment with Tab Sets.  So far, my impression has been overwhelmingly positive. I have been known to have up to 30 tabs open at one time in the same window.  Some might call me a tab addict.  I often google something, open search results in new tabs, browse a little, and then think of something else to google.  Often I am hesitant to close a tab because I’m not sure if I’ll need to come back to it.  The result is a bunch of tabs crammed on the small strip at the top of the browser.  With Tab Sets, I don’t have to worry about the number of pages I have open, because I can now organize the tabs into separate sets.

Do I have your attention? Stand out like a purple cow.A lot can be learned from successful author, marketer and blogger, Seth Godin.  One of Godin’s key points throughout his written work and in his blog post topics is that the best way to market a product is to generate buzz.  Often times this buzz is generated through word-of-mouth where friends spread the word to other friends, inherently building a trust factor into the marketing surrounding an idea or consumer good.

Marketing and advertising have traditionally been known to interrupt us during activities we would prefer to do more than watch an ad.  Commercials on TV, pop-up ads on the Internet, and distracting billboards on the highway all tend to get in the way of our everyday lives, leading us to ignore and disregard them at any opportunity.

Choosing the right keywords is the key to SEM success.One of the crucial fundamentals to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is implementing an effective strategy for optimizing your keywords.  An effective keyword strategy will help your Web site appear near the top of the results page when your potential customers are searching for a product or service that you can provide.  Here are five basic keyword strategies that will have a huge impact in helping potential customers find your Web site when they need to.

1)    Use Google’s Keyword Tool. This tool allows you to analyze competition and get an idea of the cost-per-click (CPC).  It also gives you the opportunity to find highly-searched keywords or phrases that have little competition.

iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android smartphonesIn the past year or so, the world of gadgets, devices and consumer technology products has expanded and astonished shoppers around the world. Time and time again we learn that technology keeps advancing faster and doing more exciting things than ever.  Here’s a quick look at the coolest, most revolutionary products to hit the market in recent memory:

Smartphones that are even smarter. We all know it: smartphones have been on the market for a while now.  But there’s no doubt their presence is growing, and they’re getting more advanced every day.  Touch screens are becoming the norm, and there are over 70,000 “apps” available in the Android Market and 200,000 available in Apple’s App Store which can do pretty much anything you could want or imagine (within reason).  Now that 23% of all mobile subscribers have a smartphone, people are using these devices more and more for Internet searching and browsing.  And even though Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android are getting most of the buzz, RIM’s BlackBerry is still the U.S. market leader.  The growth of the market size and fierce competition leave us with no doubt that smartphones will be hot gadgets for a long time.

Apple and Google are two companies that specialize in innovation.There’s a quote by Czech author Milan Kundera that I’m fond of.  He states, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”  While this assertion is easier said than done, it’s certainly a powerful idea that can help us understand what it is that generates customers for a business.  To delve a little deeper, let’s look at some examples of companies that truly take this idea to heart.

To start with, innovation is what moves businesses forward.  If you don’t innovate, you’ll get left in the dust.  Google has made a living off coming up with the newest, coolest technology that consistently meets its customers’ needs.  Apple, too, is infamous for coming out with innovative, high-tech products so sleek and user-friendly that some people go fanatic over them.  On the other hand, Blockbuster is a business which is failing because of its inability to innovate.  Once the leading video rental store in the country, Blockbuster failed to adapt to new technology, and as a result, has seriously struggled to compete with newer companies such as Netflix and Redbox.  Now Blockbuster is close to bankruptcy.

Search Engine Marketing

Think how your behavior has changed. Looking up a telephone number... Yellow Pages, online search, or mobile phone? The Yellow Pages hard copy is significantly smaller than it was even 2 years ago. Need information about a customer or a competitor. Where do you go? Shopping for a product or service. Where do you go?

The shift has happened from offline marketing to online marketing. Newspapers, television, radio and magazines have lost substantial segments of their audiences. Consumers and businesses have shifted their behavior from traditional offline to online and this shift will continue at a rapid pace...

Make the right decision. Outsource your SEM.As more and more companies continue to migrate to the Internet, many feel the need to increase their digital presence.  One common method to achieve this is through Search Engine Marketing (SEM).  Companies like Google make it seem relatively easy to start and run a campaign internally, but truly running an efficient campaign takes a high degree of knowledge and understanding that your internal employees might not have.  Below are five reasons why it’s better to have professionals run your SEM campaign.

1)    SEM campaigns require constant monitoring. Running a campaign is a time-consuming job.  Marketers have to constantly be on the lookout for what works and what fails, and make changes accordingly. To truly be effective, a SEM campaign has to be dynamic. Constant monitoring should include continuously bidding for keywords to market your Web site most effectively and cost-efficiently.

Bing Homepage ImageEver since Google began dominating the search engine market, many up-and-coming search engines have come and gone.  But as far as we can remember, none have stormed the market with as much vigor as Microsoft’s Bing has in this past year.  In fact, Bing’s driving force seems largely to compete with Google to be the world’s largest and most popular search engine—a bold move to say the least.

Right from the get-go, Microsoft made clear intentions it wanted to make a huge push in the search engine market when it decided to rebrand its current Live Search.  On June 1, 2009, Microsoft launched Bing, and announced that they would spend between $80 million and $100 million on a marketing campaign for its latest search engine.  So far it seems to have been a fairly successful strategy, as Bing grew its US search engine market share to 13%, putting it in 3rd place just slightly behind Yahoo!.  With the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal already finalized and in transition, Bing will soon power Yahoo! Search making it, at last, a viable competitor with Google.  That would give Bing a 26% market share compared to Google’s 65%, though with Bing’s current pace of growth, a market share of 33% is very possible in the near future.  Bing’s growing market share is especially important to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) professionals, as a competitive market may mean lower prices for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, leading to a greater number of businesses adding SEM to their advertising model.

Optimizing Your Landing Page Makes it Easier for For Searchers to Find Your WebsiteWhen someone clicks your ad on Google, you only have a few precious seconds before he or she hits that back button and continues searching elsewhere.  To ensure that web-surfers stay on your website rather than go to your competitors, your landing page has to be engaging, simple, and easy to navigate.  Below are some quick tips to help ensure that surfers will be converted into customers.

1)    Fulfill your ad promise – An ad is like a promise.  If the information the user expected when he or she clicked your ad isn’t present, they are going to feel frustrated and deceived, and quickly navigate away from your site.

Have you ever thought about the way your office space motivates workers, promotes their creativity, or increases productivity? Twitter reinforces their bird-centric branding with designs like the one at left, and we’ve all heard of extraordinary work facilities like the GooglePlex, Facebook’s HQ, or Pixar’s campus which have revolutionized the definition for “cubicle.” Now game rooms, cafeterias, work out centers, colorful paint and super-shiny and sleek furniture are part of the mix. And don’t forget Red Bull London’s office with an enormous slide for traveling between floors. Now that’s introducing a playful vibe into the workplace!

Talk about taking branding to a whole new level. Do you think your mind would gravitate more strongly toward your company’s unique qualities, vision and overall marketing strategy if you were surrounded by physical reminders throughout your day?

Perhaps you’re not ready to make the plunge toward a totally-futuristic office design, but you want to incorporate something a little new and funky. Check out these wild and off the wall products for introducing a little zaniness into your space. You never know: it may spark more imagination than you expect!

Old Spice guy If you need an example of how to perfectly integrate social media and viral marketing into your business’s marketing campaign, look no further than Old Spice.  If you haven’t seen the new hilarious Old Spice Body Wash commercials, you should check them out right now.

What’s most impressive about the campaign isn’t how humorous or unique its ads are, but rather how quickly it generated huge viral buzz stemming from Old Spice going out of its way to interact with fans all over the Internet.  On July 14, Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice guy himself, replied to comments and questions on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks via personalized YouTube videos.  Within 24 hours there were 181 reply videos posted on YouTube, producing over 6 million views.

You could have the best Web site in the world, but if people can’t find it, no one will see it.  The art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves tweaking your site so search engines like Google display yours higher than others on the results page, making consumers more likely to go to your page.  One of Google’s best kept secrets is how exactly they determine which pages get displayed first, but certain proven changes will undoubtedly help your site.  Below are five guidelines to begin optimizing your webpage.

Microsoft adExcellence CompanyYahoo! Search MarketingGoogle AdWords  BBBOnLine Reliability Program